Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness)
The Imitation Game (Graham Moore)
Birdman (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris & Armando Bo
Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
How to predict such a broad category? Well, I can start by striking Gone Girl from the list. I’m not sure if it’s an author’s dream or worst nightmare to be given a second chance, via screenplay, to correct your novel’s mistakes, but Flynn just isn’t that strong a writer and the screenplay probably would have done better in someone else’s hands, someone with a fresher eye and a little more distance.
After that, I’m kind of done. Graham Moore does a wonderful job of portraying a story that is mostly about thinking and shows us how the thinking is done. Alan Turing had a rich interior life and Moore gives us the tools to explore it. It’s not always a graceful trick, as Matt will tell you, but it is a magic trick, and it results in a very watchable film.
Wes Anderson is brilliant. His stories are intricate and engrossing, injected with energy and idiosyncracies. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, he finds just the perfect line of dialogue for his enormous cast of regulars. You never feel they’re extraneous. There’s a gloss and sheen to this script that tells us only getting better.
Inarritu et. al for Birdman are of course going to be favourites of mine. They’re innovators. The script manages to be philosophical, existential, metaphysical, and yet relatable. Major respect.
Linklater is last but not least. Script-wise, I’m not sure how it holds up to this pack, or even to itself, over time. This is the movie it took 12 years to make. A script must naturally evolve over the course of such a long period, and yet it feels like a cohesive and believable and very natural work of art.
So who will the Globes pick? I’m sort of feeling they might throw Wes Anderson a bone on this one. As long as Flynn doesn’t go home with the trophy, though, I think it’s a win any (other) way you slice it.